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What Inspired You To Become A Marijuana Activist?

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alcohol and marijuanaWhat Made You Decide To Become A Cannabis Activist?

A couple of weeks ago I saw a question floating around Facebook asking people what inspired them to become a marijuana activist. The most common answer seemed to be that a person inspired them. That makes sense, as I find it hard to not get inspired when I hear people like Vivian McPeak talk. A lot of the comments involved stories of being at a rally, or festival, or some other type of event, and hearing a powerful speaker talk about the issues that marijuana prohibition causes, and felt inspired to do something to make positive change in this world via marijuana activism.

Another common answer was that someone had a run in with the law, and felt that no one should ever have to go through that. Jay Smoker was a marijuana activist before he was arrested in 2009 for a marijuana offense, but he certainly kicked it into overdrive after his arrest. He always says there’s nothing like having your freedom taken away from you for something to get you fired up about changing things. One of my good friends had a SWAT team raid his house because he was growing marijuana. His family was put through a lot of trauma, all because our government feels marijuana is dangerous. There are countless other people that have experienced the same fate, and have been fighting for change ever since so that others don’t have to go through it.

I have met numerous people over the years that became cannabis activists because they, or a loved one, have had their suffering mitigated by the medical properties of marijuana. These are some of the most devote activists I have ever met, because they know first hand that marijuana saves lives. It’s extremely difficult for me to not tear up every time I hear a first hand story from a cancer survivor that got through their suffering thanks to cannabis. I have met people that have never consumed cannabis in their life, yet are fighting daily for reform because of what they have witnessed in their loved ones’ lives.

I became a marijuana activist in high school (90’s) because I saw how brainwashed my classmates and teachers were, and I wanted to expose the lies that they believed in. I consumed marijuana daily, which was a fact I didn’t hide, and was often ridiculed as a result. The staff at my high school would often single me out as ‘the bad kid’ because I smoked marijuana even though I had done nothing wrong, and I didn’t like it. I also saw how it was used as a tool to target other ‘non-desirable students’ at school to push them out, which still makes me sad to this day to think about.

So for me it wasn’t a person, or incarceration, but a desire to make change. I saw how much of a waste of time and energy it was to enforce marijuana prohibition, and I saw first hand how marijuana laws were used against my friends to push them out of school, which inevitably sent them down the wrong path that they didn’t have to go down. Why did you become a marijuana activist? How long have you been an activist? What do you do to inspire others to do the same?

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38 Comments

  1. LegalizeTheGanja on

    I don’t usually reply to blogs, even if I care for them a lot.. but for this particular one, I’d love to share my piece.

    It will sound weird, coming from an 18 year old skater living by the beach; but I do have two very important reasons why I will defend marijuana to my last breath.

    I’m from California where the medical use of marijuana has (finally) become legalized. I’m a full time college student working hard for a master’s degree in Business and Economics. I’m not someone who suffers from any sort of legitimate illness; accept for the fact that I have a passion for skateboarding that comes with a very prominent abundance of injuries. This leads to my first reasons for defending the herb. I have always attested doctors; always being prescribed painkillers that I knew were harming my body, making me feel numb and uncomfortable, almost inhuman. I hated that feeling. So I turned to marijuana to help combat the pain that came from my constant broken bones and cuts and bruises. I loved the peacefulness and calming properties that came with smoking weed. It helped substantially well. I started smoking every day; and with every day, I learned a new way that marijuana was helping me. I have no learning disabilities, but for example, I (because I am an active person) find it minorly hard to pay attention in class because I would rather go outside and skate, or learn something I felt would actually challenge me. Whenever I smoked before class, I would come to school promptly, and I would listen to every lecture peacefully and I was actually intrigued by the information coming from them. I could memorize each word and remember it just fine when I’m sober and I would never be bored! It’s the little things like helping my injuries feel better, to paying better attention in school that made me love weed. Not for hood rat reasons, no negative connotations like I do it because it’s fun, or my friends do it. I have never let it become a burden that stopped me from succeeding. It has just always been a peaceful, helpful tool in my everyday life.
    Now, for my second reason for defending ganja. I come from a family that was recently broken. My mom left me, my brother, and my father earlier this year for the most selfish reasons anyone could conjure up as an excuse to leave their family. I won’t name them; but I can safely source them back to her insatiable craving for alcohol. I’ve watched my own mother, an alcoholic for 30+ years, slowly degrade both physically, mentally, and emotionally. She would constantly endanger me and my brother, picking us up from school hammered. She would consistently fight me, my brother and my father about nothing. She would push all of our friends away and embarrass us by acting out too wildly when we went to dinner, had a gathering or any sort of thing like that. It disgusted me. I do not talk to my mother anymore, but I will always have one clear memory of her for the rest of my life. An image, really. It’s of her sitting in her recliner with a bottle and glass of wine next to her watching Oprah, yelling at me to leave her alone.
    I’ve always hated alcohol because of her. I’ve never enjoyed childish drinking at parties, and just a small whiff of wine makes me sick and I usually throw up just being around it. Weed did not become an escape for me, I will just put that out there right now. That is not how I see marijuana and never will. I will fight for the legalization of marijuana because I’m sick of living in a country that looks at a substance that ruins lives, families, and relationships every day as something that should remain legal, yet looks at an earth grown herb that has no causes of death, and helps millions of people every day that suffer from pain, sleep depravity, cancer, heart problems, etc. as an abused drug that should be banned. We see the government legalizing marijuana dispensaries as a push towards our goal of lifting the prohibition; but the government has only allowed this because it would rather keep it illegal, or keep it controlled. Keeping it legal through dispensaries is the government’s way of creating an illusion of freedom that generates income towards it’s own selfish desires. This is not freedom. I want marijuana to be just as legal as the air we breathe.
    Those two reasons are what made me become a marijuana activist.

  2. I have been smoking marijuana recreationally for years. It adds so much to my life. Whether I’m using it to relax and laugh, or to make an activity more exciting and intense, or even for boosting my creativity and awareness, it always seems to deliver what I want (though knowledge of strains plays intro this. I’m a bit of a connoisseur). I highly encourage EVERYONE to try it once there at a responsible age 18+. While I think the medical side of it is great, the recreational side to it cannot be ignored either. I believe both are equally important and education on both should be made more available.

  3. Eric N Tiffanny Nicks on

    I am an activist for marijuana legalization because one MUST stand up for what is right and the end of prohibition is RIGHT!…no other reason….

  4. I suffer from Crohn’s disease. I am forced to take the narcotics my doctor prescribes for me, as I live in a non-medical marijuana state. But I have been a LOUD voice for the legalization movement for more than 20 years. I am the Vocal Citizen on CNN’s iReport, @vocalcitizen on Twitter, and a journalist for Examiner.

    I just want people to see the truth for what it is. I speak to everyone I meet on this issue: politicians, cops, lawyers, people on line at the bank… I love encountering people who are still brainwashed because I love to teach. You would be surprised how many people hate being proven wrong, so half way through the conversation they begin to nod and agree how outdated our marijuana laws are.

    Those opposed to marijuana RE-legalization are not to blame. They are victims of propaganda and it is up to those of us you ARE educated to show them the light.

    FIGHT ON!

  5. A doctor recommended that I smoke pot after years of suffering with ulcerative colitis. Two other doctors recommended a colostomy (OH HELL NO!). A medical resident produced the first joint, within a year I was in remission. After a bad car accident (nobody was smoking or drinking) I used it for pain relief & to get off the pain meds. Today I don’t smoke because I don’t have a safe source & don’t really miss it. As a former bartender I can attest to that fact that alcohol is far more dangerous & damaging.

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